The Streacom F12C Aluminum Desktop Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on September 14, 2015 9:00 AM EST
Today we are getting acquainted with a relatively new manufacturer of advanced PC cases, Streacom. The company originates and has its head office set up in Holland, although their manufacturing base is based at, as always, China. For the past few years, the company was focused entirely on premium SFF and passively cooled cases, always made from aluminum. Today we are having a look at their first attempt to diversify a little, the F12C case, which measures in at 44cm long by 18.4cm high, despite looking large in some of these pictures.
The F12C is a desktop case made out of premium grade aluminum, but it neither is a SFF-class product nor passively cooled. It is a premium HTPC case with advanced cooling capabilities and capable of housing up to even Extended ATX motherboards and any ATX PSU. Furthermore, the company is boasting a new and unique mounting system, allowing free choice of where and how internal drives and fans are going to be installed, such as here:
On paper, it sounds as if Streacom designed the perfect modular internal configuration and did so for an HTPC case. We are going to thoroughly examine Streacom's latest and greatest creation in this review.
|Motherboard Size||ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Internal||Up to 12 × 3.5" (ITX motherboard)
Up to 24 × 2.5" (ITX motherboard)
|Top||Variable fans number and sizes (depends on system configuration)|
|Sides||Variable fans number and sizes (depends on system configuration)|
|Sides||Variable up to 240 mm (depends on system configuration)|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|Dimensions||184 mm × 440 mm × 320 mm
7.24 in × 17.32 in × 12.6 in
|Prominent Features||· Premium Grade (6063) All Aluminium Chassis
· Remote Control: FLirc or IRRC Solution (Not Included)
· Unique Fan/Drive mounting system
|Price||£167 ex VAT (UK. Equivalent to about $300 at the time of this review)|
Packaging & Bundle
Streacom supplies the F12C Aluminum case in a relatively small but very sturdy cardboard box. The artwork is minimal and essentially reduced to just the company logo. There are no pictures of the case or any information about it printed on the packaging. Inside the box, the lightweight case is very well protected between two thick polyethylene foam slabs.
We received one of the first samples Streacom had to offer and thus, unfortunately, we cannot comment on the bundled items, simply because we received none. We received just the case, without a manual or even the necessary screws. Retail samples of course should ship with the necessary hardware.
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Daniel Egger - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkI fully agree. I also looked specifically for a case with a 5 1/4" bay and front ports. Found the lovely Lian Li PC-C50B which is not only cheaper and offers the mentioned features but also comes with two fans installed, has plenty of space for drives and is available in black which is kind of important since my receiver and other equipment is also black and a silver case would really look like an alien in my living room... One big drawback of the Lian Li case: You *really* have to love screwing because that's what you'll be doing a lot for any tiny hardware change...
Bobs_Your_Uncle - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkThis case isn't for me (at least at the current MSRP) but I really, REALLY like quite a LOT of what I see on display in this case:
- tolerances on joints, & especially the external panel seams, etc;
- meticulously precise conical chamfering on external AND internal screw inlets, external AND internal;
- the exceptional proportionate balance of radials (fore & aft) expressed in the 1/2 bullnose treatment that weds to the top panel;
- similar radial expression on right & left side panels flowing into the base.
Extensive photos & well angled views reveal that every element of this case is EXACTLY where they intended & every aspect flows into the next PRECISELY as envisioned. Streacom demonstrates a masterful blending of excellent engineering to gifted design.
I seriously like where they're going in this case. Design choices & asthetics can (& should) be questioned & debated. But like them or not, their execution appears beyond reproach. The disclaimer of course is: photographs. But these photos give rise to the craving for an up close & personal stroll around the block.
As it stands, I'll look into the Lian Li PC-C50B. Cuz I do *REALLY* love screwing but so rarely get the pleasure!
angrypatm - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkIt looks as though it's targeted at Apple people, plain, no ports (no versatility). Its pretty, but not friendly.
dwatterworth - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkFractal Node 605 makes this thing look just plain silly and overpriced.
The major problem with attempting to put any GPU's in these horizontal cases, other than blower-style cooler equipped cards, is the airflow. You can either exhaust or supply, a longer GPU blocks nearly the entire airflow path.
The size I think was more to match existing theater components rather than to provide functionality for this case. It's like they had 2 designers who never talked to each other, one thinking of interior layout and one hacking holes into the exterior. Those top grilles...why not make it more functional and get actual full sized filtered opening with fan mounts? That movable rail system is kind of an afterthought I'd say, little correlation to the case layout or component positioning on the motherboard.
Like the article says, the exclusion of any front USB ports is such a huge omission, people will just end up having a USB extension coming from the back of the case and mucking up what could be a clean appearance in an theater setup. No sound absorption materials with that high ticket price is crazy too. At least some padding above the main CPU and GPU areas. Then to mount some potential mechanical drives right up against the aluminum with no dampeners or anything? Yes, I'd love to conduct all vibrations through the case please!
nightbringer57 - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkWell thing thing certainly does not look like a big storage champion, to be honest. I'd view it more like a network bound machine for HTPC purposes. Just drop in a SSD for the system, a bigger ssd if you plan on gaming (or a second cheaper/GB SSD)
ImSpartacus - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkYeah, it's hard to understand the use case for this one.
DanNeely - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkI initially assumed it was a scaled up version of the rest of their cases (presumably checkbox marketing driven design); but while bigger than the remainder of their lineup it has a very different design than the rest.
Almost of their gallery shots are of black cases; so I'm not sure why they send this model for review. The rest of their cases are a lot more reasonable too; slim mATX/mITX models that either support half height cards or use a riser to mount a full size card or two parallel to the mobo, and with heatsinks that use heat pipes to connect the CPU to the chassis to use as a giant heat sink. I suspect the one case with the PCIe riser is intended for a pair of full height tv capture/etc cards because a GPU would broil in the case. Some of the cases have room for a small fan; but in their intended mode most look like they would probably function just fine passively cooled. Maybe the fan's for if you're using an HDD; I didn't look that closely at layouts.
The best I can say about this case that it might've been a failed experiment; but the PHBs insisted on production to try and recover some of the r&d costs. It's a pity they decided to send it out for review; almost all of their other cases look like they'd've gotten a better reception.
stephenbrooks - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkIt seems to be a common mistake that "sleek, minimalist design" is assumed to mean "remove all the ports".
If the company is really phobic about visible ports they could put a flush door in front of them but TBH in my experience doors are more hassle than they're worth. The USB type-C hole is quite elegant, perhaps we could look forward to a future where you just have a regular array of those on the front of the case...
Morawka - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkwtf is that a GTX 295 Graphics card you installed in that pc? kinda old and outdated ya think
BrokenCrayons - Monday, September 14, 2015 - linkI think the point was to illustrate the case layout, cable management, and what a finished system will look like inside the box. Since consistently repeatable testing of case thermal and noise properties uses a specifically designed set of hardware component simulators rather than actual computer parts, the parts used to show layout in the photo aren't as important. Besides that, the size and general shape of dual slot, blower-equipped GPUs hasn't significantly changed in quite a few years so a GTX 295 is perfectly reasonable.